Design · Reverse Engineer

The Four Basic Design Principles- and Color


This is an ad designed for Volkswagen titled Water Pump, designed by BBDO. I will be using Photoshop and their ‘draw on’ tool to distinguish between the four design principles: proximity, alignment, repetition and contrast and color.


The proximity principle here shows the car and the fire hydrant have a close relationship. The eye does not automatically go to  these two items first, but they go to the red hydrant first and makes its way down the line of hydrants. The eye finally rests on the last hydrant making the connection that the back of the car hit a hydrant causing water to spill out.


Alignment in this ad is well done and can be seen immediately. The fire hydrants are all aligned in a straight line as well as the bottom of the car tire to the hydrants. The back of the car is vertical to the text at the bottom left corner. (The lines are not very visible, but can be seen)


There are two main items in this ad that are repeated. The obvious ones are the fire hydrants, even though they are different colors they still have the same design causing there to be a principle of repetition. The second is not as easy to spot, however, the Volkswagen logo is seen twice in this add; one being on the car tire and the second being at the bottom right corner of the page.


The last design principle is contrast which is finding the differences and making them work together. In this ad the light gray background helps make the fire hydrants pop out and allows them to be the  main focus.


The color scheme of the hydrants helps the eye focus on the main item which are the fire hydrants. It allows the eye to start from the right side of the ad and ends the focus on the main item, the car. The background color is very helpful because it allows the main items to stand out.


The four principles did a great job by keeping the focus on the topic the ad. These principles were used very strong by the designer making sure the focus was always the main point of the ad and allowing the principles to standout, which they did a great job doing.